Demi-fine jew­ellery: less ex­pen­sive but no less chic

Not too high, not too low – a new wave of su­per-chic, ac­ces­si­bly priced jewellers are get­ting it ju­u­ust right. Annabel David­son has the names you need to know

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - NEWS -

HIGH JEW­ELLERY, FINE jew­ellery, cos­tume jew­ellery and fash­ion jew­ellery – they’re the cat­e­gories we’re all used to, right? As a re­fresher: ‘high’ counts as rare, one-of-a-kind pieces made with the finest crafts­man­ship and the most pre­cious of ma­te­ri­als – the sort of things you daren’t even glance at on Bond Street. ‘Fine’ is 18ct gold, pre­cious and semi-pre­cious stones, cost­ing up into the tens of thou­sands. Then there’s ‘cos­tume’: it’s flam­boy­ant, it’s fan­tas­ti­cal, but it uses clever al­ter­na­tives to its pre­cious coun­ter­parts ( glass, crys­tal, brass, etc). And fi­nally, ‘fash­ion’: the quick-fix jew­ellery on the high street.

Only now, there’s a new kid in town, and it’s one to take se­ri­ously – but not too se­ri­ously.

En­ter ‘demi-fine’, an emerg­ing jew­ellery cat­e­gory that hits that sweet spot between fine and cos­tume. How? Well, it all boils down to the price of gold. Gold is ex­pen­sive, and 18ct gold – the pre­ferred mix of pure gold and other met­als used in all fine and high jew­ellery – is more so than lower carat weights (usu­ally 14ct, 10ct, or 9ct). So when a jew­eller uses one of the lat­ter golds in a piece, it’s go­ing to be less ex­pen­sive for them to pro­duce, and less ex­pen­sive for us to buy.

But – and this is the im­por­tant bit – demi-fine jew­ellery still has in­trin­sic value, in­cor­po­rat­ing

pre­cious and semi-pre­cious gems alike, or sim­ply by virtue of be­ing made from a pre­cious metal, not just coated in it (un­like ver­meil or gold-plated pieces).

‘While I love the warmth of 18ct gold, 14ct gold is my favourite to de­sign with,’ says Wing Yau, the de­signer be­hind New York demi-jew­ellery brand WWAKE. ‘It’s sub­tle, yet still holds true to the lux­ury of fine jew­ellery. Our cus­tomers are drawn to what we con­sider “un­der­stated state­ments”: lit­tle bits of lux­ury that can be worn ev­ery day, and then passed down for gen­er­a­tions. Sub­tle de­sign is key to mak­ing the jew­ellery feel per­sonal, rather than os­ten­ta­tious – these women are buy­ing the jew­ellery to re­ward them­selves, af­ter all, not to im­press any­one else.’

When used in the diminu­tive pieces that WWAKE cre­ates, 14ct gold is hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate from 18ct, although in gen­eral the lesser the carat weight, the less ‘gold’ the metal looks. But at 14ct, it’s a very small dif­fer­ence, which works for Yau.

And she’s not the only one go­ing down this track. A raft of in­de­pen­dent de­sign­ers are em­brac­ing the medium, cre­at­ing col­lec­tions that are far more af­ford­able than tra­di­tional fine jew­ellery. Here are the 10 demi-fine names to know now...

Rachel Loren, Satya Ste­wart and An­nah Ste­wart-Zafrani are the trio be­hind LA brand Loren Ste­wart, and started off up­cy­cling vin­tage jew­ellery for them­selves and friends. Their su­perfine gold chain is adorable – es­pe­cially when turned into a choker with a tiny di­a­mond sus­pended at its heart.

Her de­signs are as sweet and dis­creet as the Copen­hagen­based de­signer her­self. Min­i­mal, mod­ern and qui­etly lux­u­ri­ous, Brahe’s sin­gle ear­rings can hold an en­tire out­fit to­gether. A new take on her Petite Elipse de­sign sees a gen­er­ous swoop of gold loop­ing the ear­lobe, top-and­tailed with two gleam­ing Akoya pearls. dover­street­mar­ Another Dane, Maria Black’s sim­ple pieces have just a lit­tle bit of edge. Her new Di­a­mond Cut col­lec­tion sees 14ct gold faceted to sparkle like di­a­monds, with a scat­ter­ing of tiny stones. Our pick is the sin­gle Co­lette ear­ring in rose gold, which makes a grace­ful state­ment by swoop­ing up the lobe. lib­erty­lon­

This Toron­to­nian sprin­kles a lit­tle fairy dust on all her work – the hand-carved de­signs and slightly askew-set stones make her del­i­cate pieces seem ethe­real and oth­er­worldly. Her stack­ing rings sub­tly shim­mer with

Left Neck­lace and rings, from a se­lec­tion, WWAKE (cou­ver­ture andthe­garb­store. This page

1. Di­a­mond-cut Viva ring, £385, Maria Black (lib­erty lon­

2. Teardrop amethyst ear­ring, £400 each, Jac­quie Aiche (

3. Small Prism neck­lace, £460, Sarah & Se­bas­tian (sara­hand se­bas­

4. Jas­mine ear­rings, from £100, Lau­rie Flem­ing (lau­rieflem­ing jew­

5. Lulu 14ct-gold, pearl and di­a­mond ear­ring, £720, So­phie Bille Brahe ( 1 2 3

4 5



Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.